Is your Small Business Ready to Take on Employees?

BY: ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2012

A lot of small business owners start out thinking (and hoping) that they can do it all. Many find that they can keep things going on their own for quite some time, but for some, business flourishes and expands beyond what one person can realistically keep up with. This is, of course, the small business owner’s dream yet it can also cause some struggles for a period of time. There are a lot of adjustments to be made and a lot of technicalities to be taken care of before placing that first ‘help wanted’ ad.

Once you’ve taken care of all the tax and insurance paperwork you may feel like you’re ready to start hiring, but it’s best to take care of as many of the little things as you can before taking on employees. After all, the more kinks you have worked out ahead of time, the happier your employees will be. Here are a few things to consider before doing your first round of hiring.

What specific skills are you looking for?: Before conducting interviews, it’s important to have a clear view of the skills and personality traits you want your employees to have. Decide which are negotiable and which you are not willing to compromise on. For instance, would you consider someone who has no background in your business area, but who is enthusiastic and eager to learn? If you had the choice between that person and someone with the skills you require, but no personality or customer skills who would you choose? It’s a matter of assessing your priorities and specific business needs. What works best for one business, won’t necessarily work for another.

How much help do you need?: As pointed out in an article by Joanna L. Krotz on Microsoft.com, every business has ups and downs. Taking on employees costs money – sometimes much more than employers are expecting. You don’t want to overestimate the amount of help you require. It’s best to start slowly and see how having employees affects your bottom line. You can always add more staff over time, as you become more comfortable with the added expense. You will also want to consider whether you need full-time, part-time or casual help. Adding on a probationary period is also something to think about; this gives you a little more time to ensure you have chosen the right candidate for the job.

Get organized: Before bringing on employees you will want to to have all of the paperwork set up to accommodate them. Lay out your employee policies and procedures, determine how you will track employee work histories and become familiar with employment regulations in your area. Also, decide how you will be paying staff and either order checks or get set up for direct deposit payments.

Most importantly remember that, despite any hiccups along the way, being at the stage of needing employees is a real business accomplishment. Many small businesses never make it to this point. Be proud of how far you’ve come and stay focused on your vision for the business.

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